Climatic Change

, Volume 122, Issue 4, pp 681–694 | Cite as

Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations

  • Robert J. BrulleEmail author


This paper conducts an analysis of the financial resource mobilization of the organizations that make up the climate change counter-movement (CCCM) in the United States. Utilizing IRS data, total annual income is compiled for a sample of CCCM organizations (including advocacy organizations, think tanks, and trade associations). These data are coupled with IRS data on philanthropic foundation funding of these CCCM organizations contained in the Foundation Center’s data base. This results in a data sample that contains financial information for the time period 2003 to 2010 on the annual income of 91 CCCM organizations funded by 140 different foundations. An examination of these data shows that these 91 CCCM organizations have an annual income of just over $900 million, with an annual average of $64 million in identifiable foundation support. The overwhelming majority of the philanthropic support comes from conservative foundations. Additionally, there is evidence of a trend toward concealing the sources of CCCM funding through the use of donor directed philanthropies.


Carbon Emission Social Movement Trade Association Anthropogenic Climate Change Resource Mobilization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Supplementary material

10584_2013_1018_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2.1 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 2.06 mb)


  1. Anheier H, Daly S (2005) Philanthropic foundations; a new global force? In: Anheier J, Glasius M, Kaldor M (eds) Global civil society 2004/5. Sage, Thousand Oaks, pp 158–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Antonio RJ, Brulle RJ (2011) The unbearable lightness of politics: climate change denial & political polarization. Sociol Q 52:195–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Austin A (2002) Advancing accumulation and managing its discontents: the U.S. antienvironmental countermovement. Sociol Spectr 22:71–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Borgatti SP, Everett MG, Freeman LC (2002) UCINET for windows: software for social network analysis. Analytic Technologies, HarvardGoogle Scholar
  5. Brass D (1992) Power in organizations: a social network perspective. Res Polit Soc 4:295–323Google Scholar
  6. Brulle RJ (2014) The development, structure, and influence of the U.S. national climate change movement. In: Wolinsky Y (ed) Climate change policy and civil society. Congressional Quarterly Press, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  7. Colwell MAC (1993) Private foundations and public policy: the political role of philanthropy. Garland Publishing Inc., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Cook KS, Whitmeyer JM (1992) Two approaches to social structure: exchange theory and network analysis. Annu Rev Sociol 18:109–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dunlap RE, Jacques PJ (2013) Climate change denial books and conservative think tanks: exploring the connection. Am Behav Sci 57Google Scholar
  10. Dunlap RE, McCright AM (2011) Organized climate change denial. In: Dryzek J, Norgaard R, Schlosberg D (eds) The oxford handbook of climate change and society. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 144–160Google Scholar
  11. Elsasser S, Dunlap RE (2013) Leading voices in the Denier Choir: conservative columnists’ dismissal of global warming and denigration of climate science. Am Behav Sci 57Google Scholar
  12. Fligstein N, McAdam D (2012) A theory of fields. Oxford University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fuchs S (2001) Against essentialism: a theory of culture and society. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  14. Gale R (1986) Social Movements and the state: the environmental movement, countermovement, and government agencies. Sociol Perspect 29(2)Google Scholar
  15. Gulati R, Gargiulo M (1999) Where do interorganizational networks come from? Am J Sociol 104(5):1439–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hoplin M, Robinson R (2008) Funding fathers: the unsung heroes of the conservative movement. Regnery Publishing, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  17. International Energy Agency (2012) World energy outlook 2012. International Energy Agency, ParisGoogle Scholar
  18. Jacques PJ, Dunlap RE, Freeman M (2008) The organization of denial: conservative think tanks and environmental skepticism. Env Polit 17(3):349–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jenkins JC (1983) Resource mobilization theory and the study of social movements. Annu Rev Sociol 9:527–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Knight G, Greenberg J (2011) Talk of the enemy: adversarial framing and climate change discourse. Soc Mov Stud 10(4):323–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Knoke D (1990) Political networks: the structural perspective. Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  22. Knoke D, Yang S (2008) Social network analysis. Sage, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  23. Levy D, Egan D (2003) A Neo-Gramscian approach to corporate political strategy: conflict and accommodation in the climate change negotiations. J Manag Stud 40:4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lo CYH (1982) Countermovements and conservative movements in the contemporary U.S. Annu Rev Sociol 8:107–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lounsbury M, Ventresca MJ, Hirsch PM (2003) Social movements, field frames and industry emergence: a cultural-political perspective on U.S. recycling. Soc Econ Rev 1:71–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McCarthy J, Britt D, Wolfson M (1991) The institutional channeling of social movements in the United States. Res Soc Mov Confl Chang 13:45–76Google Scholar
  27. McCright AM, Dunlap RE (2000) Challenging global warming as a social problem: an analysis of the conservative movement’s counter-claims. Soc Probl 47(4):499–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McCright AM, Dunlap RE (2003) Defeating Kyoto: the conservative movement’s impact on U.S. climate change policy. Soc Probl 50(3):348–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Meyer DS, Staggenbord S (1996) Movements, countermovements, and the structure of political opportunity. Am J Sociol 101(6)Google Scholar
  30. Minkoff D, Agnone J (2010) Consolidating social change: the consequences of foundation funding for developing social movement infrastructures. In: Anheier H, Hammack D (eds) American foundations: roles and contributions. Brookings Press, Washington, pp 347–367Google Scholar
  31. National Intelligence Council (2012) Global trends 2030: alternative worlds. Central Intelligence Agency, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  32. National Research Council (2012) Climate and social stress; implications for security analysis. National Academy of Sciences, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  33. National Research Council (NRC) (2011) America’s climate choices. National Academies Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  34. National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) (1997) Moving a Public Policy Agenda: The Strategic Philanthropy of Conservative Foundations, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  35. Oreskes N, Conway EM (2010) Merchants of doubt. Bloomsbury Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  36. Snow D (1992) Inside the environmental movement: meeting the leadership challenge. Island Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  37. Stefanic J, Delgado R (1996) No mercy: how conservative think tanks and foundations changed America’s social agenda. Temple University Press, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  38. Walker JL (1991) Mobilizing interest groups in America: patrons, professions, and social movements. University of Michigan Press, Ann ArborGoogle Scholar
  39. World Bank (2012) Turn down the heat: why a 4°C world must be avoided. World Bank, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  40. Ylvisaker N (1987) Foundations and nonprofit organizations. In: Powell WW (ed) The nonprofit sector: a research handbook. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Drexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations